FireIce – from innovation to adoption to fight wildfires

Wildfires in CA 2015

With wildfires raging all the way up and down the West Coast, firefighters welcome every advantage they can get to successfully bring conflagrations under control.  In 2008, I profiled a then new product called FireIce (see full article below), an innovative product that’s nontoxic, biodegradable and effectively snuffs fires out.

The company that makes this great product, GelTech Solutions, today announced that FireIce High Visibility Orange, the signature product of its Wildland Fire Division, has been actively used by more than ten state and federal wildland firefighting agencies so far this season to fight over 100 fires in the U.S. and Canada. FireIce has been deployed in over 10 different types of aircraft for both initial attack, extended attack and large fire operations. It has earned the praise of pilots, tanker base managers and wildland firefighters on the ground for its superior effectiveness, ease of use and environmental friendliness. FireIce HVOF also weighs significantly less per mixed gallon than other commonly used chemicals, enhancing the safety of pilots and their aircraft.
FireIce gel

We are very pleased with the growth and adoption of FireIce in the wildland fire industry and have been fortunate to work with some outstanding agencies domestically and internationally,” stated Matt Struzziero, GelTech’s director of sales and operations.

To learn more about this remarkably simple yet effective fire suppressant, read on.

Reprinted from 2008 redding.com article

With California wildfires vividly in our minds, it’s fitting to focus on a new product that could help firefighters stop such devastation.

FireIce — a potassium-based polymer that, when mixed with water, becomes a gel that stops fires cold — could soon make its California debut.

California’s 2,096 wildfires burned more than 1.2 million acres, destroyed 2,000 homes and caused at least 15 deaths. Shasta and Trinity counties saw more than $55 million in damage. Gel Tech Solutions, the Florida-based company that makes FireIce, wants to dramatically reduce such statistics.

Created eight years ago by Peter Cordani, chief technology officer of Gel Tech Solutions, FireIce is nontoxic, noncorrosive and biodegradable. Designed to fight wildfires, this product can be sprayed on vegetation and homes. Sprayed ahead of a fire, it creates an effective fire break. Sprayed on “hot spots,” it instantly snuffs out flames, preventing them from recurring, company officials said.

Tom Strenta of GelTech said once the fire is over, simply hose things down and FireIce dissolves. Its formula then enhances tree and brush growth.

FireIce was tested by one of the largest independent laboratories in the United States (Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio). FireIce also tested effective against fires from rubber, tires, gasoline and diesel fuel, company officials said.

“This product can mean the difference between first- and third-degree burns or between life and death,” Strenta said.

FireIce - Filling Fire Trucks

When Cordani recently saw Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger talking about the wildfires’ devastation on TV, he traveled to California and attempted to see the governor in Sacramento. Unsuccessful, he was eventually referred to San Diego’s Intermountain Fire Department.

Intermountain Battalion Chief Jeremy Christofferson said, “I’ve been dreaming of a product like this.”

At a recent green tech exposition in Los Angeles, Cordani gave a demonstration of FireIce. He aimed a fully lit acetylene torch at an uncoated piece of wood, which burst into flame. He then dipped his hand in a bucket of FireIce gel and turned the torch on his hand. As viewers gasped, nothing happened. His hand was cold; no nasty burns.

But before California’s firefighters can benefit from the product, it must still undergo more testing and be certified through the Department of Forestry. Once it passes, a number of agencies must sign off on it. These oversight groups include OSH-TAC, the state Fire Marshal’s Office, the National Wildlife Coordinating Group and the National Fire Protection Administration, whose guidelines firefighters adhere to.

FireIce demonstrates that it protects and stops flames cold

FireIce demonstrates that it protects and stops flames cold

This entire process takes up to 18 months. But there’s a silver lining. In cases of extreme emergency, Cal Fire can “use any product that’s useful for fire suppression activities,” said Dave Ault, deputy chief of operations for Cal Fire’s North Region in Redding, California.

This product may get that chance. A fire recently broke out in the San Diego area, and Cal Fire’s Assistant Chief Kevin O’Leary authorized dropping FireIce if the fire worsened.

Using gel as a fire suppressant isn’t new, Ault said. It’s one of four standard methods already used. It’s used in firefighting aircraft, but it’s been too difficult to get the proportions right to use in firetrucks, he said.

FireIce Plant Application

FireIce requires no special equipment or mixing. One 50-pound bag will fill a typical 500-gallon fire truck. Just add water.

The price is appealing. Other methods cost from $4 to $20 a gallon (Editor’s note: these prices may be out of date). FireIce’s 60 cents a gallon cost could cut California’s firefighting expenses.

“If (FireIce) simplifies things, if it has the same characteristics of other products and costs less,” Ault said, it could be more readily accepted.

“I see a future for these products as a suppression tool,” Ault said.

Seeing Green in Singapore – A Guide to Eco-Living in the City State

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These solar “supertrees” are part of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay

Editors Note:  The following is a guest post from Ruth Harrison-Roberts.

If you’re someone who prefers to live life in an eco-friendly way, you may be wondering how exactly you’ll manage it in Singapore. The city-state is, after all, a very built-up place, with a dense population, busy roads and high-rise buildings dominating the skyline.

However, it was in fact designed as a garden city! You would never consider grouping it in with Letchworth and Welwyn in the UK, but the premise remains the same: soften the urban sprawl by planting trees along the highways and byways and creating parklands. And, this is one of the first things that people tend to notice when they visit Singapore – just how green it looks.

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Love Bug Eraser offers environmentally friendly way to clean your car

Love Bug ErasserYou know what a mess your car can look like when you finally arrive after a long trip. The bug spatter, grime and windshield mess can be pretty nasty. The usual remedies are either take it to the nearest car wash or wash it at home. Both methods rely on harsh chemicals to get the job done.

Don Meyns was frustrated with those solutions. Realizing he needed to develop his own remedy, he set out to create a better, more environmentally friendly way of cleaning cars that wouldn’t be harmful to the paint or finish. After numerous tries, the Love Bug Eraser was born.

To learn more about this versatile and eco-friendly product, go to http://bit.ly/1gnViV1.

Get rid of mold and mildew naturally with Safe T Air

Safe T Air indoor pollution solutionI hate to admit it but I’ve been living with a pollution problem of the indoor type. For the past six years, my guest bedroom has had a seriously musty, moldy smell that no amount of cleaning or room deodorizer could tame. So when I was asked to test a product called Safe T Air, billed as “the solution to indoor air pollution”, I jumped at the chance.

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A safer, non-toxic canned air system

02 Hurricane  Canless Air System cleaning a  keyboard

The O2 Hurricane Canless Air System really is air, not canned compressed toxic chemicals

Spring has quickly morphed into summer-like weather and many of us are pulling out window and revolving fans to get them ready to stave off the coming sweltering heat. In my own efforts, I discovered that though stored well, an annoying a layer of dust had accumulated inside my fans.

Recently, I came across a device that’s saved me from my annual take-apart-and-clean-the-fans ritual.

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Effecting Change with Green Construction for a Better Future

The following is a guest post.

Green Construction - remodeling

Greening an existing structure can reduce energy consumption and create a healthier environment. Photo courtesy of Ecolution Renewables

While the new construction trend is to look for sustainable and renewable materials, a commonly overlooked problem is that of existing structures. These homes and commercial buildings from years past will continue to exist for decades to come. Failing to address the impact this has on the environment through increased energy consumption, as well as toxins in the buildings, reducing air quality and causing long-term health effects, is a huge mistake.

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NurturMe makes organic baby food convenient

NurturMe_Large Box SetThe idea for many of the innovative “green” products I write has many times sprung from an unmet consumer needs or problems faced by a parent. Parents often breathe a sigh of relief when they discover these simple yet effective solutions.

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